Skip to main content

Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

See other formats


INTRODUCTORY   ESSAY.                                    89
personal experience is very much greater than that of any other
naturalists, there are still large areas of the region under
consideration, of which \ve have no personal knowledge what-
ever : we do not therefore presume to 'consider our scheme as
established beyond the necessity of future modification; on
the contrary, we submit it with great diffidence to the criti-
cism of Indian geographers, and earnestly court inquiry into
its details.
The physical features of the several provinces will be treated
in considerable detail. This seems called for by the general
want of accurate information on Indian geography, displayed
in many valuable works on various branches of Indian
science; and this not only on the Continent, but quite as
conspicuously in England. It perhaps arises from the fact
that no physicist or naturalist has hitherto proposed such a
classified or systematic arrangement of habitats or Ideali-
ties, as may be readily acquired by the professed naturalist;
though it should not be forgotten that it is primarily due to
the defective state of our education, which leaves otherwise
accomplished men so ignorant of the general features of the
geography of India, that *when the 'demands of their profes-
sion or of science oblige them to study its details, they find
insuperable obstacles to their acquisition.- At the commence-
ment of this essay it has been observed, that " Ind. Or." is
too often the sole indication of the native place of many ines-
timably valuable vegetable products, even in works of stan-
dard authority; and when more detailed localities are given,
they are generally copied at random from the tickets of col-
lectors, or the catalogues of local botanists, and. are in most
cases 'mis-spelt and equally unintelligible to the resident in
Europe and in India. Many botanists indeed seem tacitly
to admit that there is a recognized license tr overlook both
generalities and specialities in treating of Indian plants, and
with the honourable exception of Dr. Royle we do not know
of one who has written extensively, and not availed him-
self of this license. Or Koyle's gn^v ,vlir, seems '\n ?/?<(